24 April 2014

Ghost stories

I don't believe in ghosts. Not really.

But let's face it, I don't want to piss off anything that could potentially be there (in the dark, in the corner of my bedroom). I am, for lack of a better word, a scardy cat when it comes to ghosts and the like.

However, that doesn't stop me from wanting to be scared witless every time a new scary film comes out (I honestly don't know why I like doing it to myself). So when I passed Ghost Stories a few weeks ago near Covent Garden, I knew I had to check it out.

M was my willing (read moaning) date for the evening, and we headed off ready for a fright night.

First though we stopped off at Pho to fill our stomachs.

I don't know much (anything at all really), about Vietnamese food, however I know Pho do delicious well. They started out as a street food vendor in 2005 and now have a few places round London, and in Brighton and Leeds (so if you're in either of those places check them out!).

Ordering a Hanoi Mule cocktail for myself and a Vietnamese beer for M (naturally), we sat taking in the menu. Although I'd been a couple of times before, I could never remember what I had eaten, only that it'd came in a big bowl and was delicious.

That led me to the Pho Chin, a noodle soup with beef brisket shredded in. M wanted the same, except more meat, so he went for the Pho Bo Combo, with beef brisket, meatballs (who knew they had meatballs in vietnamese cooking?), and steak. Along with a few sides, we felt happy.

Now what you're about to see is the worst food photography ever, and I mean ever. Let's just say that my camera and I had a disagreement, and all technique and tricks I had learnt went out the window.

These were Nem Hai San, crispy rolls containing prawn, crab and pork - an odd combo, but my gosh it was delicious.

Along with your noodle soup you get a side plate of herbs and beansprouts to pop into your noodles too, a great idea, if like me, you like to studiously avoid adding more chillies than what comes with it.

Thoroughly satisfied we made a brief stop off at the Hummingbird Bakery a couple of doors down.

Before heading to the Arts Theatre.

Taking a seat, it wasn't long before the lights dimmed...

All in all it was a fantastic show - it even had M's seal of approval (and that boy does not like theatre).

Written by Jeremy Dyson (of League of Gentlemen) and Andy Nyman (Derren Brown's assistant writer for his shows), there was a bit of fright, a bit of laughter, and a whole lotta fun - the story was surprising, and had me guessing right to the end (a sign of good writing in my book).

I'd seriously recommend going if you want something different to a normal night out at the theatre.

You can even go for the front row of tickets starting from £20! But don't worry, ghosts aren't real... right?

20 April 2014

Eating my way through a bank

So I feel like a very bad blogger... three weeks! Three weeks and I don't know where the time has gone!

What can I say? Work, colds, and more work I'm afraid, but hopefully you'll forgive me.

On the subject of work, I got to go to the launch of Tate & Lyle Sugars' Bank of Baking. The best bit of this? There was an edible bank... yes you heard me right, an edible bank.

Surely I mean just bits and pieces here and there? No, everything was edible...

It was open for one day in Shoreditch, inviting anyone and everyone inside.

There were edible safes...

Gold bars and notes that you could tuck into.

Bankers desks stuffed full of money - I imagine this is what every desk in The City looks like, but without edible, tasty money.

Each banknote and amount have a different flavour, and I nibbled on a lavender flavoured £20 shortbread note.

You could pick up everything and eat it, all the while it looking like it you were stood inside a working bank.

And yes, there was even an edible cash machine...

I fortunately work for one of the agencies involved in putting this together and so not only got to be a part of it, but also got some very tasty treats. Bompas and Parr were also part of the team that baked and created this - so you can imagine how good it tasted!

Tate & Lyle are doing this all as part of their Baking Dreams competition where five lucky winners get to win £5,000 towards making their Baking Dreams come true - pretty sweet right?

I hope some of you got the chance to pop in if you were around that day! And an even better work perk for me, I got to sneakily take a few things back to the office for everyone to enjoy. All in all, seeing everyone's reactions and getting to eat my weight in cake was pretty damn cool.

What has been the best work perk you've ever been lucky enough to have?

27 March 2014

40 stories high at the Duck & Waffle

The Duck & Waffle is somewhere I've been wanting to try for ages. I've seen it reviewed so many times on other blogs I knew I had to jump at the first opportunity I got to try it out...

My mother's birthday was exactly that opportunity.

Last Friday, we both had the afternoon off, and she came down to London so I could treat her. I had told her about this place, but I don't think she was quite ready for the sight that awaited us (and as it turned out neither was I!).

Hurtling up the lift to the 40th floor, we were both grinning at each other along with everyone else in the lift at the sight below our feet. But nothing could compare for the sight at our table.

These photos really don't do it justice - and neither do my photograph skills!

Ordering a couple of cocktails after we managed to close our gobs, we perused the menu to try and decide what to order.

The Duck & Waffle is a sharing style restaurant, where you order a few plates for the table, and pick and choose off each. But they do have 'meals' if you're not the sharing kinda person (I hear ya!).

Wanting to try everything we went for a few options.

This was my mum's first time trying lobster - well, it was for her birthday!

Everything was impossibly dreamy, with flavours that just worked, without the pomp that some restaurants along the same line have. Myself and my mum are both beetroot fiends, so that dish tied with the artichoke was our favourite (even over the lobster!).

I won't bombard you with ridiculous clich├ęs over foods, or what it tasted like, needless to say the food, the view and atmosphere were all incredible.

And who in their right minds could resist a Baked Alaska for dessert?

I'm not going to lie, this place was pricey and not somewhere I would go on a regular basis, but if you're on the lookout for somewhere to have a treat, I'd seriously give this a go! 

Another big thumbs up from me were the staff - I've often found in a few places like this staff can often be a bit pretentious, however here they were so helpful (even when my mum and I were fighting over the bill at the end).

We went at lunch, but even then I'd recommend booking, as it was full when we went at 2:30pm. But if it takes your fancy you can go at 4am! They're open 24 hours.

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